The government has announced a new plan to help drivers avoid traffic jams and road works.
From next year, data on live and planned works should be available on the Street Manager system, helping road users navigate the millions of delay-causing works in the UK each year.
The new system will cost up to £10 million in order to replace a ‘costly and ineffective system’.
In the UK, drivers waste an average of 31 hours in rush-hour traffic each year.
The Street Manager system, to be used by councils and utility companies and which could be incorporated into route-planners on sat-navs and smartphones and in apps, may be an antidote to the ‘necessary evil’ of roadworks, the AA said.
The government hopes that companies such as Maze and Google Maps will use the information and other companies may even make products based on the technology.
Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: ‘Roadworks can often be frustrating for motorists, especially when they cause hold-ups at busy times and delay journeys.
‘We want to reduce this disruption and delay, and Street Manager is just one of a number of actions we are taking so that local authorities and utility companies can better plan and manage their roadworks.
‘The data opened up by this new digital service should enable motorists to plan their journeys better, so they can avoid works and get to their destinations more easily.’
The RAC’s road policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes said: ‘This new technology, together with the plethora of existing online travel planning tools on offer, has the potential to give drivers a clear and accurate picture of what their journey will be like, saving them time and hassle.’
New bidding guidance on ‘lane rental schemes’, which allow councils in England to charge utility companies for working on the busiest roads at peak times, has also been announced.
It aims to encourage companies to plan with councils by co-ordinating works at quieter times to reduce disruption.
Head of roads policy, Jack Cousens, said: ‘Drivers and local authorities are frustrated when roadworks seem to repeat themselves, so focusing utility companies to encourage co-operative works with other parties and fixing at off-peak times are a good thing.’
Martin Tett, the LGA’s transport spokesman, added: ‘The extension of lane rental powers, long called for by councils, will give incentives to utilities to minimise disruption on the busiest roads throughout the country.’
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